Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises: Vicki Vale and Talia Al Ghul Contenders




Updated 1/19/11: Anne Hathaway confirmed to play Catwoman.

Last week, villains and plot details for the third Batman film to Director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight Rises" were released, with mention of eight actresses up for the role of reporter/love interest Vicki Vale and Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul.

The actresses named were: Eva Green, Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley, and Gemma Arterton.

Here's a quick look at the contenders. See below for image references.

Just who should play Vicki Vale? Fans will remember Vale's appearance in the previous Batman movies from actress Kim Basinger who played the reporter/love interest to Michael Keaton's Batman. Interestingly enough in the comics, Vicki Vale was modeled after Norma Jean Mortensen - Marilyn Monroe. Vale was the answer to Superman's Lois Lane.

Talia, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul, in the comics is a love interest as well - and mother to Batman's son Damian. While not a typical "villain," Talia seems to play both sides of the coin. Her relationship with Batman has her at odds with her father, Ra's Al Ghul, who considers Batman his arch-enemy. Talia is an excellent hand-to-hand figher, excelling in the Marital Arts and considered an Olympic level athlete. Again, this is related to the comic book version of Talia.

So who is up for Vicki Vale? Of the eight, Namoi Watts seem to best represent that "Vicki Vale" look best (at least, imo). However, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel seem to fit with this "good girl" role as well. Is American actress Kate Mara another consideration (see below)?

For the character Talia  - daughter of Ra's Al Ghul - and said to be playing a villain, this leaves either Keira Knightley, Eva Green, Charlotte Riley or Gemma Arterton. We know that Ra's Al Ghul was played by Liam Neeson, so another foreign actor makes sense. However, it's even quite possible Kate Mara may be up for this role.

Keira Knightley, best known for Pirates of the Caribbean's Elizabeth Swann, is an English film actress and model. She would be a big-name actress to sign opposite Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. In 2008, she was reported to be the second highest paid actress in Hollywood according to Forbes magazine.

Gemma Arterton is an English actress who has played numerous roles for the BBC, landed a role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Clash of the Titans, and of course was featured in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

Eva Green could also be a contender for Talia, as she fits that "exotic role" with her French and Swedish background. Green, another "Bond-girl, appeared in Casino Royale (2006) earning her a "BAFTA."

Charlotte Riley, is an English born actress and just happens to be engaged to Tom Hardy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hardy is said to have a role in Dark Knight Rises, and also co-starred in Nolan's blockbuster hit Inception. Riley appeared in the ITA's (competition to the BBC) Wuthering Heights.

American actress Kata Mara, just from her look in my opinion, seems more suited for Talia than Vicki Vale. Mara has been in the Fox TV series, "24" and even made a cameo appearance in Iron Man 2. Personally, I think she has the "bad girl" look to her, so I'm not sure if she would be playing Vale. Of course, there is a strong possibility Nolan may not be going for the "blond bimbo" look of the Vicki Vale from the earlier Batman movies.

The Reporter also states that Namoi Watts might be out of contention as she is currently shooting a disaster flick in Thailand, The Impossible, with Ewan McGregor - however that ends just as Dark Knight Rises begins shooting. So she is definitely not out of the picture.

Gemma Arterton is most likely out, as she just landed a role in Paramount's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters which might cause scheduling conflicts.

Eva Green might have scheduling issues as well, as the actress starts shooting Arbitrage with Al Pacino in April.

In the next few weeks, we should learn who will be playing who. Obviously, any of these talented young ladies could play either role. Who should play Vicki Vale? And who should play Talia, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul?

Here are some reference pics to put names with faces: